Tehran (ISJ): Iran claims to have send a monkey to space on Saturday (Dec. 14). The monkey, Fargam meaning auspicious in Farsi, was launched on board the rocket Pajohesh or Research. The rocket, launched on the first day of the national Research Week, safely returned after 15 minutes, according to Iranian news agency IRNA.
The liquid-fueled rocket went 120 km high into the space with the simian was part of an ambitious programme aimed at manned space flight. Iran's first attempt carrying a monkey into space was in January 28, 2013.
"The launch of Pajohesh is another long step getting the Islamic Republic of Iran closer to sending a man into space," according to unnamed Iranian scientists. The research enabled scientists to further complete their studies in the area of biology in space, airspace and medical engineering, they added.
Iran?s first attempt to send animal in space was in 2010, when it sent one rodent, two turtles and several worms into sub-orbital space on board Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) rocket. A year later, Iranian Space Agency launched Kavoshgar-4 (Explorer-4) rocket carrying a test capsule capable of carrying a monkey, but its first attempt in September 2011 carrying a live monkey on board Kavoshgar-5 failed.
Iran joined the orbit-launch-capable nation in 2009 and is one of the 24 founding members of the UN Committee on the peaceful uses of outer space.
Iran?s space programme is seen by its adversaries as an attempt to develop long-range ballistic missiles.
"Our concern with Iran's development of space launch vehicle technologies are obviously well known. Any space launch vehicle capable of placing an object in orbit is directly relevant to the development of long-range ballistic missiles," commented a sceptic US State Department spokeswomen Victoria Nuland.
Iran joined the group of countries with indigenous space technology by 2009 by launching its first homemade satellite Omid into space. Iranian scientists say, the success of Pajohesh explorer and its bio-capsule will open the way for further advancement in the country's space technology. (With agency inputs)